Win a copy of new historical fiction The Prodigal Sister

Darry Fraser's The Prodigal Sister. Picture: HarperCollins

Darry Fraser's The Prodigal Sister. Picture: HarperCollins

A headstrong woman shakes up the Victorian police force by joining the male-dominated world of forensic science in 1900.

That's the premise of Kangaroo Island author Darry Fraser's latest book, The Prodigal Sister, out this month through Harper Collins.

To celebrate the release, Australian Community Media has seven copies of the novel to give away.

The historical mystery sees protagonist Prudence North face a dangerous blackmailer who threatens not only her family, but also her dreams of making an independent living.

So what can readers expect from the book?

"Mystery, mayhem and, as usual, things are not what they seem," Fraser said.

"The ties of family, the importance of friendship, to press on in spite of great hardship. Mostly I suppose to be true to yourself - after finding who you are."

The author, who has written several other Aussie historical fictions, said there were many women like Prudence who really lived at the time.

"Vida Goldstein, Louisa Lawson, Catherine Spence to name a few," Fraser said.

"The majority were just overlooked, or perhaps they bowed to family and social pressure and didn't put themselves forward - or if they did, were quickly shut down unless a sympathetic person saw their merit.

"The main trouble was, that if a woman decided to marry, work outside the home for her was against the law; besides the fact that she was most likely to have a baby year in year out if her body could handle it, whether she wanted to or not.

"I want readers to know that, despite the patriarchal rhetoric, women were strong and resilient and did have a voice, though it wasn't a loud one collectively at the time.

"There was reticence in the female ranks to upset the apple cart, or to rock the belief in the old social order and the idea that her place was in the home.

"As for Prudence, had she begun working with the police in 1900, she was unlikely to have had a real female colleague as such until about the 1920s. Those women were derided for their efforts but have since been recognised."

Australian Community Media has seven copies of Darry Fraser's The Prodigal Sister to give away to lucky readers thanks to our friends at HarperCollins.

For your chance to win a copy, simply fill out the form below and tell us in 25 words or fewer which trailblazing woman you think deserves to be more widely known and why.

Entries close midnight Tuesday, December 14.

Please read the terms and conditions.

This story Win a copy of new historical fiction The Prodigal Sister first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.